So which team are you going to root for now, Brendan??

The Connecticut legislature reached a compromise with UConn that will allow the university’s football team to schedule a six-year series against Notre Dame, even though none of the games will be played in Connecticut. The Irish balked at playing at the Huskies’ 40,000-seat home stadium, Rentschler Field in East Hartford, insisting instead that UConn’s "home" games played in larger stadiums elsewhere, most likely in Massachusetts, New Jersey, and/or New York. However, Connecticut lawmakers were unimpressed with the idea of UConn outsourcing its home games to other states. In the words of State Rep. Michael Christ,
D-East Hartford, who proposed an earlier bill that would have
required UConn to play all its home games at Rentschler, "Many of us felt we already had a beautiful facility in
Connecticut and it was built for UConn."

The newly announced deal requires UConn to play six home games at Rentschler Field each year, "as long as the NCAA rules permit a
12-game season and permits a team to use one Football Championship
Subdivision win per season as a bowl-eligible win." It also reduces the length of the series between UConn and Notre Dame from ten years to six. "I
believe we have crafted a reasonable solution," said Christ, who added that he hopes UConn can persuade the Irish to play at
Rentschler Field in the future. (Ha! Fat chance.)

The series will start in the 2011 season and go through 2017.  The three home games for the Irish will, of course, be played at Notre Dame Stadium.  The deal still needs to be approved by Notre Dame and venue officials.  Connecticut and Notre Dame already have a separate deal to play next season in South Bend.

UPDATE BY BRENDAN:  Rep. Christ wrote a scathing op-ed about this topic last week in the Hartford Courant. My dad suggested the headline, "Christ to Notre Dame: Screw you." Heh.

Anyway, here’s an excerpt:

Loyal Husky fans flock with family and friends to Rentschler for every home
game, rain or shine, in support of their beloved team. There are hundreds of
stadium workers who depend on a game day payday from parking cars, working
concessions and post-game clean-up. Many local school bands and clubs as well as
charities also use games to bolster fundraising. Should all those benefits move
to Massachusetts? I say no!

If Rentschler Field is too confining for the
Leprechaun army the Fighting Irish deploy each week, how come the similar
capacity stadium of the Boston College Eagles (formerly of the Big East) is not
too small? That series alternates between South Bend and Chestnut Hill,
Mass. …

There is no question Notre Dame will remain the "Wal-Mart" of college football as long as it is able to keep its national television
network deal. However, UConn officials can come out of this looking like heroes
both here in Connecticut and nationally by saying "no thanks." They could brag
that no one, not even the legendary Notre Dame, can tell Connecticut where to
play its home games. Even if the Fighting Leprechauns, after a few more years of
two-win seasons
, do eventually find their television revenue dried up and are
forced to finally join a conference, it is very possible that the Irish will
abandon their pseudo Big East affiliation and join the Big 10 anyway.

Ahem. It was a three-win season, thank you very much.

Incidentally, to answer the question posed by the title, I will, of course, root for Notre Dame, my alma mater. But as I said in comments, "if I had to pick one game (other than USC) for ND to lose, it would be
the UConn game. Imagine what a huge win that would be for the Huskies
program."

That said: Gooooo Irish! Beeeeeat Huskies! :)

9 Responses to “So which team are you going to root for now, Brendan??”

  1. Brendan Loy says:

    Heh. Well, I’ll root for the Irish, of course. They’re my alma mater. But if I had to pick one game (other than USC) for ND to lose, it would be the UConn game. Imagine what a huge win that would be for the Huskies program.

    Nevertheless: Go Irish!

  2. Brendan Loy says:

    P.S. I edited & elaborated on the post a bit, to make clear that the “compromise” is between UConn and state legislators, not because UConn/the state and Notre Dame.

  3. Drive-By Media says:

    Rep. Christ should ask himself, “Why would Notre Dame want to play at a stadium that seats 40 thousand people?” It sure sounds like a great idea for ND to play at a tiny stadium, have hardly any tickets for its alums, and to take an unneccessary financial hit on ticket revenue.

    That said, this whole “agreement” ND has with the big east to play 3 games against big east opponents per year is completely stupid. The whole point of being an independent is to have the leverage to schedule whomever you want.

  4. David K. says:

    Drive-By:

    But as Christ points out, ND DOES play at such small venues.

  5. Drive-By Media says:

    It sure does, but it doesn’t have to. UCONN is not bargaining from a position of strength, ND could take or leave them, just like they have left Rutgers in recent negotiations.

  6. Joe Loy says:

    Already the Husky is salivating in anticipation of a nice big bite of Leprechaun Butt :}. Yes, before This slaughter is over & done with the Irish will be nostalgic for Oliver Cromwell ;>. GO, STORRS! SMASH VATICAN CITY!!! :)

  7. Lauren says:

    Oh man oh man oh man. I think I just exploded from excitement.

  8. Lauren says:

    Ok, I’ve taken a deep breath. I’ll root for ND as well. However, if they make me go all the way up to Foxboro I’m going to be pissed. Like any good CT’er I hate that stupid Robert Kraft.

    Now, if this was woman’s basketball I wouldn’t even attempt to root for ND. I just love me some Geno.